It’s that time of year again and many of us are running to get a pumpkin spice latte, buying mums, making our homes feel cozy, and switching out our wardrobes from summer dresses to sweaters and scarves. I love this season change so much, particularly in the Midwest. It is such a beautiful and cozy time! I’m all about cuddling up under blankets, watching sappy Hallmark movies, sipping wine, and enjoying our fireplace to the fullest. But in order to achieve all of this coziness, I have some serious work to do! Let’s break it down…
The last thing I want to do when I’m in my sweats, under a blanket with a glass of yummy wine, binging sappy movies (or Cobra Kai or The Home Edit), is look at a bunch of clutter sitting around. I don’t know about you, but I have a very hard time relaxing and enjoying my home when it’s messy and especially when I have piles of “projects” or chores calling me off the couch.
You may have noticed if you follow me on Instagram or facebook, that I’ve been in a huge decluttering mode for a while… actually it’s been a few years in the making according to my fb memories! Well most recently I tackled my basement, and by tackled I mean I got some of it done and then I had my husband bring up a bunch of boxes. Those boxes have been sitting on kitchen counters, in my foyer, and on my back porch. You guys, it was a LOT of clutter and it was extremely stressful and overwhelming, but I knew it would force me to actually go through it and get it done. Yesterday was the day! I was motivated by the idea of being able to decorate with my favorite fall stuff, making my home super cozy and comfy, and being able to actually sit back, relax and enjoy it! I set my timer for 30 minutes (I think I hit reset 3 or 4 times), and put on an oldie but a goodie, The Sweet Home Alabama Soundtrack, (I may have listened to it more than once)! But that’s the point. I made myself focus for 30 minutes, but my husband was on baby duty, I was suddenly in the mode, and I just kept going until I got it done! Hallelujah! I might have been motivated by the fact that I got a decent burn pile out of it, and I love watching fire, and also the cleansing affect it has when you’re clearing out clutter! Of course I sat with a glass of wine while I watched. Talk about relaxing! I highly encourage you to set a timer, put on a favorite playlist, and knock out those projects or cluttered areas you’ve been putting off. It will be so worth it when you light that Simmering Cider candle and sit back and relax with a cup of hot cider (or wine 🤷♀️).
I recently listened to a podcast that changed my life! Ok, I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I think most of them change my life. That’s the beauty of finding ones that speak to us and give value and meaning to our day! One of my favorites is Minimal-ish by Desirae Endres, and she recently hosted The Nester, Myquillyn Smith, author of Welcome Home. In this episode, she specifically talked about how to make our homes cozy and festive without letting go of our simplicity and decluttered goals. I love her suggestion of using all 5 of your senses to decorate. Think about the things you want to see, smell, feel, hear and taste this season! I naturally do most of these things, baking pumpkin or apple recipes, getting a new candle, and setting out way too many fake gourds. But this year I am working towards using less visual clutter, only putting out decorations that I really love and spark joy for me, and filling in with the rest of the senses! I swapped out our throws for heavier, neutral colored ones, I’ve baked an apple crumble, I’ve been listening to slower, softer music, and I swapped out my diffuser blends with some fun autumn recipes. I love this concept, as it not only aligns with having a simple space, but it is an all-encompassing way to enjoy each new season!
I’ve also talked about this process on IG and fb, so feel free to check out posts you may have missed for before and after pictures. But holy cow I know I’m not the only one who gets overwhelmed with seasonal wardrobe switches! I mean, I’ve donated or sold soooo many clothes over the past few years, and I still get stressed about it! There are many, many ways to clean out your closet. Many different views on how you should minimize and organize your clothes. I’ve tried several ways, and I’m going to share a few of my favorites with you now!
- Courtney Carver’s Project 333 approach is to only have 33 items in your closet (including shoes and accessories) at a time for 3 months. She gives suggestions and examples, but it’s not an exact science, and she encourages you to make it work for you.
- Marie Kondo says to go through all of your clothes at once, regardless of season, and keep only what sparks joy.
- Melanie Kruger, The Confident Closet, is a fun and creative influencer who helps you find your style and encourages you to show up for yourself each day. She’s sweet and sassy, and super into bold lips and fun accessories.
- Shari Braendel, Fashion Meets Faith, has a color coding system, where you find what colors work best and get rid of the rest! She also does a 27 Hangers program, and specializes in fashion help for Christian women “over a certain age”.
I’ve done all of these (except the 27 Hangers – I’m actually getting a training on that today). What I’ve found is that I want someone to tell me exactly what to do, and then I will break the rules that enable me to make it my own. Marie Kondo’s method stressed me out to no end. How the heck was I supposed to know what to keep? Does this black tee spark joy? I have no idea. I did find it super helpful as an initial tool to weed out a ton of clothes I didn’t really care about.
I really liked the idea of Project 333, and it did indeed simplify my life by streamlining my closet, but I wanted more specific details on what to have. Also, I wanted more accessories and ways to add a little more flair to my look than this specific number allowed for me. Which is one of the things I enjoyed most about learning from Melanie Kluger’s The Confident Closet. She encourages you to always add an accessory. Like, when you think you’re ready to go, add something such as a bold lipstick, a fun piece of jewelry, jacket or whatever. This pushed me out of my comfort zone and got me having a lot of fun wearing different hats and sunglasses and such, and I got a lot of compliments and people saying “that’s so you”. Who knew! I usually wear lounge clothes these days. Stay-at-home toddler mom = wearing pajamas/lounge clothes until I have to go somewhere most days!
What I’m obsessed with right now? Shari Braendel’s Fall Refresh! Today is the last day, so I’m still learning and am in the middle of my closet overhaul, but I’m having so much fun! I’ll be honest, I’m one of very few ladies that are not “of a certain age” in this group, and if that doesn’t work for you, Melanie is your gal! But I’m having a blast and learning so much, and am getting a lot of great feedback! I’m a “Soft” according to her color test, which I have known for a while now, and have used it to do a huge closet sweep at one point. But now I’m diving into it deeper, learning about how to capitalize on my best colors in my closet and makeup drawer, adding in some fun trends, and letting go of more things that just don’t work for me as well. It’s such a cool way to clean out my closet and switch it over to a fresh fall wardrobe! I’ll post some pictures on IG and fb, so be sure to catch me there as I go through this process if you want updates. I am in a specific support group for this challenge, so maybe that’s another reason I’m enjoying this so much, but I love having the specific instructions. Like, don’t wear this. Wear that instead. Except for the “softs don’t wear black” one. I still have a hard time with that!
I hope some of these ideas and resources help you find new and fun ways to get ready for fall! If you have fun ideas for transitioning seasons in your home and closet, please comment or message me on social media! I’d love to hear from you.